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 Barham Village History


History Genealogy The Barham Family

20th Century - Two World Wars
1900 Breach Mill Destroyed by fire.
1911 Lord Kitchener Broome Park was sold, by Sir Charles Oxenden, to Lord Kitchener who used money donated as a reward for his work in the Sudan and Egypt for its purchase.


Barham Down 23rd Signal Company billited for training exercises before departing for "The Great War".


Lord Kitchener Opened Barham Fête.   £179 was collected for purchase of a church organ.
1914 Barham Court Improvements by Lutyen made to Barham Court


Jack Heathfield One of Barham's most loved characters moved to No3 Railway Cottages, working at Barham station. (By his retirement Jack added to the station facilities by introducing his allotment and a "Lord Derby" apple tree to the Up Platform. Chickens and turkeys were kept in the goods yard as well as ducks which swam in a small pond specially dug for them. Even pigs were located at the top of the railway land. At Christmas fowls and vegetables were distributed to each family household.) see - Elham Valley Railway

Start of World War I

1914 Parish Council Thursday 13th August meeting voted by 23 electors to 9 that the Lighting and Watching Act 1833 should not be adopted by the parish on the basis of cost.
(This was reversed in 1936.)
1916 Barham Church The organ was rebuilt in the North Transept using as much of the original organ as was practical.
1917 Parish Council The minutes for 11th January record a letter being received from Kent County Council offering to supply seed potatoes to parishioners at cost price.

End of World War I

1919 Parish Council The minutes for 14th March record a letter being received from Kent County Council regarding the settlement of returned soldiers on the land.   Brickfield Lane was also recorded as being dangerous.


No 17 bus service The bus service started with two journeys per day provided by char-a-banc with individual seats.
1924 High Rates There was an assembly held at the school on 2nd December to consider the high cost of rates which had reached between 12/- and 13/- in the £1.   The meeting resolved to protest to Kent County Council and encourage other villages to do the same.   A sub-committee of the Parish Council was formed at the following Parish Council meeting to inspect the accounts of Bridge District Council.
1925 High Rates The Parish Council meeting of 16th June received the results of the investigation made by the sub committee started in 1924.   It effectively found that the "Heads" of accounts were few and it was difficult to see how Bridge District Council were able to provide effective controls.   The council resolved to write to the Prime Minister, Leaders of Opposition, Minister of Health and Members for the Division regarding the effect on rural communities of the Rating and Valuation Bill that was passed into law.


Village Hall Erected and now plays a central role in village life.
1929 Mains Water Work to supply Denton and Wootton started on 15th April and a request made to supply Shelvin Lane.
1930 Parish Boundaries The Parish Council meeting on 24th March greed the transfer of Wooton to the Dover area and Lodge Lees should be transferred from Dover to Barham.
c1930 Cricket Pitch Mr Groombridge donated the land, on which the cricket pitch was located, to the village.
1931 Valley Road The road between Barham Street and Station Approach was said to be too narrow for the safety of pedestrians and a footpath should be provided.
1932 Mammoth Skeletons Men grubbing for Mr Arter found, on the football ground, two skeletons with teeth of 11lbs and curved tusks which disintegrated when exposed to the air.
1933 Roman Camp An early bronze age beaker was found by a Mr Todd. It was made of course red paste, 6¼ inches (15.85cm) in height and decorated with lines and thonging.
1935 King's Silver Jubilee Celebration of the event was discussed at the Parish Council meeting on 26th March.   It was decided that a special 1½d should be levied.   Costs were
£49-10s-0d costs and this left £6-17s-8d unspent which was donated to the school, girl guides and Village Hall.
1936 Bus Service The Parish Council decided at their meeting on 31st March that road congestion opposite the Post Office required the East Kent Road Car Co bus stop to be moved to Derringstone as petitioned by 162 residents.   The return fare at that time was 1s-3d.
1936 Street Lighting Electric lighting was installed in the autumn using 75 watt lamps.   The cost was
£3-15s-0d each.
1937 Air Raid Precautions The Parish Council meeting of 15th March  received a lecture by Captain Pitlock the Air Raids Precautions Officer.   The British Legion was asked to provide a Chief Warden, 6 Air Raid Wardens, 3 Fire Wardens, Dispatch Riders and necessary men to undertake work.   The Women's Institute was asked to provide First Aid Posts.
1938 Coronation Celebrations This was held on 1st April.
1938 Barham Church 4 bells in steeple retuned and re-hung in a new timber frame for 5 bells by Mears & Stainbank.

Start of World War II

1940 War Effort The Parish Council meeting on 26th March discussed the setting up of Waste Paper Salvage, National Savings and Allotments.
1941 H.M.S. Barham The Parish Council meeting on 24th March sent a telegram to the Admiralty on the subject of the Battle of Cape Mattapan: -
"Kindly convey to Capt. Cook, Affairs & men of H.M.S. Barham congratulations & thanks for splendid work in recent action from the inhabitants of Barham Village East Kent"


Elham Valley Railway The railway was closed in April for the rest of World War 2 and taken over by the army which used it to move rail mounted guns to suitable firing positions.
1941 Winston Churchill Winston Churchill inspected the Boche Buster rail gun on 20th June
see - Elham Railway Military Railway.
1942 Eleanor Roosevelt Said to have visited the Village Hall in the autumn during her visit to Britain to meet US troops stationed here.   It is also said Clementine Churchill accompanied her - as she did for most of Eleanor's itinerary.   It has been noted by villagers that anti-aircraft guns were stationed around the village during the visit.

End of World War II

1946 Peace Celebration This took place on Saturday 8th June - paid for by a 2d rate on properties.   Residents of Kingston were also invited.
1946 Welcome Home Fund The Parish Council meeting of 23rd October decided that there should be a memorial to commemorate the loss of 8 men during the war.   Messrs Arter donated land to provide the chosen memorial of a football pitch and playing field.
1947 Barham Church 41" Tenor bell by Mears and Stainbank was added to the existing 4 bells to complete the current 5 set of bells housed in the steeple.


Elham Valley Railway Barham railway station closed on 1st October 1947 along with the rest of the railway line.
see - Elham Valley Railway
1948 Olympic Games The Olympic Torch destined for London received a change of runners at Out Elmstead Lane on the Dover Road.


Beating of the Bounds The village covered 4,536 acres and on 28th December the 15 miles of boundary of the present village were walked in one day (15 miles). Many of the original boundary stones from the old "boroughs" of Out Elmstead, Derringstone, Breach and Shelving & Burton were found.
1951 Festival of Britain A Grand Fete with Carnival was held on 30th June.
1955 "Raising a Riot" The comedy film staring Kenneth Moore was released in the UK.   Centre to the story was the Black Mill on Barham Downs which provided a holiday home for Moore and his three children.
1956 House Numbering The Parish Council meeting on 20 March rejected a proposal to number houses in the village by 1 in favour to 20+ against.


Village Green Presented to the village by Mr and Mrs L. Groombridge to be used as playing fields for the children in perpetuity.   Mr and Mrs Ross provided seats and trees.   It was opened on Saturday 12th May.
1960 Seismology Station Opened in June on Barham Down - see Seismology Station.


Barham Station Sold by British Railways for £850 for housing development see - Elham Valley Railway


Census Population estimated at 1,108 inhabitants.    There are about 375 rateable houses.


Roman Coin find Mr Dennis Holt found two Roman coins whilst walking on Barham Downs.    One was of Constantine the Great (AD306 - 337) minted in London and the other of Licinius (AD 307 - 337), minted in Trier, Germany.


Barham Church New curved oak screen added at the entrance to the North Transept.


Breach Down 12 year old John Arter was looking over newly ploughed fields on Breach Down and discovered two colts or bronze axeheads dating from the mid bronze age BC 1600 - 1000.


Barham Down "The Black Mill" burned down on 3rd March by sparks from an unattended bonfire during restoration work.


Census Official count - 1,252


Mains Drainage Main street works had been completed and connections started.


Local Government Barham was no longer part of Bridge District Council and became part of the City of Canterbury.


Mains Drainage All works completed and Barham was now fully connected.


Methodist Chapel In a break with tradition, the pulpit and pews were removed to enable secular use of the hall during the week.   The Chapel, however, acquired a fine set of oak furniture, from the Oversland Chapel, for its primary function - Methodist Chapel


The Great Storm On the night of 15th/16th October Barham, with the rest of Southern England, was hit by the worst storm since 1703. Considerable damage was caused including the clock being blown out of the church and on to a neighbouring house and the loss of the 800 year old yew tree on Railway Hill (its original position now marked by a memorial).


Barham Cross Roads Completion of the new A2 flyover at Barham Cross Roads was celebrated by a car motorcade and barbeque at the Duke of Cumberland.


Census Barham Downs Ward (which includes Womenswold and Adisham) - 2,553


Planning Application A presentation was made to the 4th July meeting of the Parish Council by promoters of a proposed housing development on the site of the village school.   The plan envisaged converting the school building into 3 homes and 30 new low cost houses plus 25 other houses.   A new school would be built on land adjacent to Valley Road together with further houses.   It was the subject of a planning enquiry that eventually rejected the plan.


Seismology Station Said by the M.O.D. to have been closed in September - see Seismology Station


Elham Valley Twinning Association Barham joined other villages in the formation of the association which aimed to twin the valley with a similar valley - Valleé de la Course - in France.


Parish Assets At the end of March the assets held in trust were itemised as being 1.3 acres of land, the Village Green donated by Mr and Mrs L. Groombridge in 1957, the triangle of land opposite the Red House purchased from Kent County Council in 1947, the "Cricket Pitch" (with later pavilion) purchased in 1947, 9.09 acres of land adjacent between Gravel Castle and Rabbit Hole purchased in 1946 and the two bus shelters.


Planning Application A possible housing development at the Piggery was discussed.   Canterbury City Council made it clear that it was unlikely to succeed after the previous application had been rejected in 1991.   The Parish Council at the meeting on 4th September agreed to advise "all concerned" that it was not in favour of of the scheme - which has not progressed further.